Bridget is ten years old and has spent 9 years and 3 months of that time in therapy. First it was physical therapy. Then feeding. Over time occupational therapy was added and finally speech therapy. We would take minor breaks over the years but they were more mini-vacations than actual breaks. She has always had at minimum one therapy a week. Bridget works very hard to live her best life.
We live with the motto, they said she would never so let’s prove them wrong.
It’s a difficult life, when you watch your child struggle with things that come naturally to most children. I remember the kindergarten play-date and how it brought me to my knees. Watching Bridget struggle as the kids ran around. How they navigated the play structures without fear, without assistance and without their moms by their side.
When you watch your child work so hard at her therapies and see such slow progress. Yes, she is doing well but she is not doing (insert foolish goal here).
Then one day you meet some friends at a playground and see this:
And think to yourself holy crap. It’s a six foot tall metal climbing structure. You blink and see this:
And say: be careful for your child to reply: Mom I do this.As she climbed up and over the structure (like a freaking 100 times) my heart caught. I watched all three therapies come together. Physical therapy as she pulled herself up and over. Occupational therapy as she motor planned, placing hand over hand and foot over foot. Speech therapy as she explained out loud: BE CAREFUL I GOT THIS!
I watched 9.6 years of therapy come together in one moment. Fun fact: two former speech and one former occupational therapist were on this playdate too. They didn’t help or intervene but sat with me as we proudly watched Bridget. I hope they know this wouldn’t have been possible without each and one of her current and past therapists.
She loved every moment of it and as we drove home she was exhausted.
Just like every other child on a playground.